Question & Answers with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Q: Doyou have any special courses or programs to help the people working honestly inmass media to reduce the stress?
Sri Sri: Yes. You know, this program that we teach is very useful inreducing stress, irrespective of whether you are in a media company or in the corporatesector or in aviation. Stress is a common factor in any work place and thiswill definitely help people get out of stress. Mainly, what we need to see inthe world today is a violence-free society, a disease-free body, a confusion-freemind, an inhibition-free intellect and trauma-free memory. You know, we nurtureso many types of inhibitions; if ten compliments are given to you and only oneinsult is given, your mind locks onto the one insult. So we need to bring achange to that - a trauma-free memory and a sorrow-free soul. This is the birthright of every individual and this is what these practices bring to you.
Q: What shall we do to always be happy, because as I know your concept is to relaxand attain happiness by that?
Sri Sri: What to do to always be happy? First, drop the feverishnessto hold onto ALWAYS and you will find yourself happy. And then, if some momentsof unpleasantness creep into life, accept that also.
Q: Please tell us what does ‘one word family’ mean to you and what should we do tomake this family happy?
Sri Sri: What family means to me? The whole world is one family for me.You know, I feel absolutely at home wherever I am. I never have a feeling ofbeing in a country or land that is not mine. I never felt strange anywhere. Myconcept is to see the whole world as one family; of course family is a veryimportant institution, it is the foundation of a society.
Q: Whatis the fastest way to feel belongingness and unity?
Sri Sri: When you are free fromstress, you have a sense of belongingness and understanding. This is whathappens when people undergo The Art of Living program. It happens so naturally.
Q: What is the visualization of God in ancient India?
Sri Sri: In ancient India, they described God as beauty. A discipleonce asked what God is. The Master replied – Truth, beauty and love. That isGod. Is God sitting in heaven giving a little finger? No, it is only in thepainting. God is truth, beauty and love. It is that field and energy present inthe entire creation. When can you appreciate beauty? And what doesn’t allow youto appreciate? When mind is bombarded with worry, anger, hate and tension, youcan’t even smile from your heart.
Thoughyou are sitting in a ballet, but you can’t appreciate if you are angry. You canonly appreciate when you are in the present moment.
Q: Should yoga become an integrated subject in school, especially iftraining/practicing can help our students to achieve something higher?
Sri Sri: Yes, certainly. Inseveral countries, they have already made yoga compulsory in schools.
Q: You have a very big dream in bringing world peace. If, in our lives, we meetpeople who follow orthodox and rigid ideas and are ready to die and harm otherpeople, how should we deal with it?
Sri Sri: We need to deal with suchpeople with patience and we have to educate them, it’s not an easy task. First,we should begin from prisons. When one amongst them joins us in spreading peace,it is much easier.
Q: In today’s world, people really think of survival. How to deal with it?
Sri Sri: It isa natural concept where survival is the first thing. It is a natural instinct butwhen self-confidence and vision is infused, survival will naturally be includedin it, without any kind of fear. I have spoken about this in our books - Celebrating Silence and Celebrating Love. You can read thesebooks when you have a question.
Q: What do you say on the rumors of destruction of the world in the year 2012?
Sri Sri: I want to tell you a story. In 1999, when I was in NorthAmerica, there was a rumor that everything will shut down in 2000. People soldhomes and stored food for six months - Milk powder, dry vegetables etc. Oh myGod! Then also I told that there would be no disaster and everything would beas usual. Now again, I am assuring you that it is only in the movie. The worldwill continue. In fact, transformation will be there from greedy materialism tohumanism. Children will be more aware of spirituality. There is a bright futurefor the world. Don’t think of any disaster. A disaster is already happening.This is because we have exploited the planet. We have put so many dynamites totake minerals, and hence earthquakes have become dominant. The weather! Russianever had such hot temperatures. So we have to care for the planet Earth. Planttrees and do all that is needed to reduce human greed. What do you think?
Q: Do you follow any religion?
Sri Sri: Yes, I am a born Hindu. I continue to be a Hindu, but theprograms we teach are very secular. People of any religion can practice it.